[Lingtyp] Typographical means to signal gender inclusiveness
randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Thu Oct 24 12:26:59 UTC 2019
Yes, so originally the script did not distinguish gender, then, as you say, in the early 20th cen began graphically distinguishing them, but in Ian’s example the author is trying to go back to a non-gendered for by using the pronunciation, which never changed.
Sent from my phone
> On 24 Oct 2019, at 6:46 PM, Mattis List <mattis.list at lingpy.org> wrote:
> Note that the Chinese distinction between genders is not in the language, only in writing, superimposed on the system by Western traditions, with the character for "she" being coined only recently (if I remember properly, around early 20th century). No dialect of Chinese, as far as I saw it so far, has two distinct pronouns for he and she.
>> On 24.10.19 12:20, Joo Ian wrote:
>> Dear Sebastian,
>> the 3SG pronoun in Mandarin is /tʰa55/, but for male 3SG it is written as 他 and for female 3SG as 她 (note the radicals on the left side are different, 亻 meaning person and 女 meaning woman). In a colloquial context of written language, the pinyin /ta/ is sometimes used to represent generic 3SG. For example, on the image below (which I found via DuckDuckGo search) is written 和TA分手, meaning `breaking up with him/her’.
>> From Jena, Germany,
>> Joo, Ian
>>>> On 24. Oct 2019, at 12:09, Sebastian Nordhoff <sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de <mailto:sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de>> wrote:
>>> Dear all,
>>> I am interested in orthographical or typographical means to signal gender inclusiveness (in a social sense) in the world's written languages.
>>> In the last years, there has been a growing desire to replace a masculine form with Something Else when referring to a) referents of unknown gender or b) groups. So, in German, instead of /Dozenten/ 'lecturers', people now use
>>> (1) a. Dozenten und Dozentinnen (doubling)
>>> b. Dozierende (participle)
>>> c. Dozent/innen (slash)
>>> d. DozentInnen (CamelCase)
>>> e. Dozent_innen (underscore)
>>> f. Dozent*innen (asterisk)
>>> In Dutch, we have
>>> (2) Medewerk(st)er (parentheses)
>>> where "-st-" signals the feminine.
>>> For most German or Dutch nouns, the feminine is marked by a suffix as opposed to zero marking masculine. When both genders are overtly marked, things get more complicated:
>>> In Spanish, people use the fact that the masculine marker "-o" and the feminine marker "-a" look like "@" when superposed
>>> (3) L at s viej at s italian at s (@)
>>> 'The old Italians'
>>> Readers can now choose to focus on the "a-shape" or the "o-shape" when encountering a "@".
>>> In French, this strategy is not possible. Instead, one finds periods separating formatives, and the reader has to select the correct ones. The precise rules for the creation of the dotted forms are unclear to me at present.
>>> (4) Cher.ère.s étudiant.e.s (dotting)
>>> 'Dear students'
>>> In (4), the ".e." can be inserted in to "étudiants" 'students' to yield "étudiantes" 'female students'. But "ère" is not inserted to yield "Cherères"; instead, it replaces "er" to yield "Chères".
>>> I would like to know more about the following questions:
>>> 1. Which of these strategies are used in other languages you know?
>>> 2. Are there other orthographical or typographical strategies, different from those listed above?
>>> 3. What word classes are targetted? Nouns are the obvious choice, as are adjectives and articles. Are there instances of interesting minor word classes where this phenomenon has been observed? What about head marking on verbs?
>>> 4. How are stem changes handled, e.g ablaut in German "Arzt/Ärztin" 'doctor m/f', where the ¨ cannot readily be separated from the A?
>>> 5. Is there evidence that complicated gender morphology stifles the desire to be more gender inclusive?
>>> 6. Are there similar phenomena in languages with non-Latin scripts?
>>> 7. Any suggestions about predictors for this (geography, genealogy, history, typology, sociology)?
>>> 8. Are there forms created in order to include people who do not want to identify as either male or female (this is the case for the * in German)?
>>> 9. Are you aware of existing literature on this topic?
>>> Best wishes
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